The coronavirus world is confusing place for all of us, especially our children.
With COVID-19 forcing the shutdown of school this spring, there’s a possibility kids won’t return to the classroom this fall. Health and safety experts say its important mom and dad, or any guardian, sits down with young children and talk about on the farm safety.
“A couple of things that parents can do to make sure their elementary aged students, or children, are safe, is to create safe play areas, and what that is an area where a child can play, and be supervised at the same time,” said Melissa Ploeckelmann of the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety.
It’s also important to talk with kids about not running out to see people they know and love, because they are working and may not be looking out for children. That conversation is just as important for you older children who have chores or work responsibility on the farm as well.
Ploeckelmann says personal protective equipment is a hot topic for the ag and non-ag community right now. She says while a lot of people are wearing a cloth mask when they visit businesses around town, that may not be a good fit on the farm
“If a farmers or a youth are doing things such as spraying pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, if they are working in dusty environments, sometimes they need to be wearing N-95 masks or just by reading the back of, reading kind of the instruction labels on whatever chemical they are using, it will say exactly what type of respirator they will need,” she said.
Ploeckelmann adds it’s important that all employees understand not only the correct pieces of equipment to use, but how to use them correctly.